"Oh, absolutely not. No. Go home, try again."
Looking down at herself, the skin tight, low cut blue camisole, the top of her bra peeking out, and the tartan print skirt that would be better suited as a belt, to her strappy heels, before looking back to Barbara, her arms folded across her chest in disapproval.
"You wanted bait, right? I look like a ditz. Perfect bait. What's the problem?"
After a brief stare off, between mentor and protogé, Babs sighs, hanging her head, pinching the bridge of her nose under her glasses, the blonde breaking into a triumphant grin.
"I was expecting something you could at least hide some form of weapon with…"
Steph held up her slender clutch purse, and flipped it open. Inside was her phone, her collapsible bo staff and her fake id's.
"I'm prepared. I'm ready to go. C'mon! If you want this creep, let's get this creep!"
Another reluctant sigh, and Babs wheeled herself back to her monitors.
"Fine. But I'm not going to be held responsible if you get killed again."
Making sure her clutch was still neatly packed, she rolled her eyes and flicked her hair dramatically.
"I studied the case file, O, I know what I'm getting myself into. I'm honestly your best bet. I fit his victim profile. Trust me, please."
Stephanie circled to crouch next to the armrest of the wheelchair, leaning her head on the side of the red head's arm. Silence lingered, before Barbara lightly tweaked one of the loose curls, a faint frown on her face.
"It's not a matter of not trusting you, or having faith in your abilities. It's that you have a bad habit of almost dying. You have died. And whether people admit it or not, we'd hate it if you died on us again."
Turning her head to rest her chin on the armrest, looking up at Babs, Steph pulled a face.
"Yeah, well, don't tell anyone, but I kinda like being alive. So no matter the result of this, we don't tell Bruce. Because he would kill us both."
"Agreed. Now stand up properly, that skirt is not cut for that angle, Steph. God."
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
So far, the night had been… eventful
, but not in the way she had wanted.
Damian had been informed of the job, and was letting Steph know what he thought about it with irritated huffs into her ear through the comms, knowing she couldn't easily always respond to him.
"So, tell me why you thought dressing like a common, street walking trollop, and making me spend the night babysit your idiotic backside was a good idea?"
Raising her glass to her lips (perks of a short skirt; free drinks) as she scanned the throngs of dancers, she spoke into it, making use of the skill developed through learning to read people's lips and not wanting hers read; speaking with her mouth closed (she wouldn't call it ventriloquism yet, she hadn't figured out how the voice throwing worked properly. Not that it would work over comms anyway).
"What has the Sixth Street Slashers type been, Gremlin? And it wasn't my idea to have you here. It was O's. Blame her."
"Oh, so you're an impractically dressed idiot, using herself as bait, and drinking on the job. I hate you."
"Mm, delicious mocktails, I'll teach you all about how to look like you're having a good time some day."
"Stop talking. A guy who has followed you from the past three places is coming towards you. Act cool, if that's possible for you."
Falling silent, after actually taking a sip, raising her hand to scratch the back of her head, a choice finger extended in the direction of the Gremlin, she tried to pick the mark, while being casual.
She couldn't, however, see the guy. She knew what she was looking for, Damian had pointed him out after he turned up in the same place as her the second time. Resisting the urge to frown, she was about to ask Robin if he had eyes on, when he spoke, barely disguised alarm in his tone, just as she felt a sharp prick in her hip.
"He's on you!"